Described as “a force of nature” (Toronto Star) and “an actress of immense talent” (Opera Canada), contralto Lynne McMurtry has performed with the Boston Symphony, the Winnipeg Symphony, the Edmonton Symphony, the Okanagan Symphony, Opera Ontario, Edmonton Opera and Manitoba Opera, and at many of the major festivals, including Tanglewood, Ravinia, Banff, and Aldeburgh. Conductors with whom she has performed include Seiji Ozawa, Robert Spano, James Meena, Robert Dean, Howard Dyck, Kevin Mallon, Wayne Strongman, Gordon Gerrard, and Lorraine Vaillancourt.
On the operatic stage, Lynne’s vocal and theatrical versatility has won her excellent reviews in such diverse roles as Arsace in Rossini’s Semiramide, Mme. de Croissy in Poulenc’s Dialogues des Carmélites, and Mistress Quickly in Falstaff. Recent performances include Mistress Quickly in Falstaff with Calgary Opera and Opera Hamilton, and the title role in Tamerlano with Opera in Concert. Other recent performances include the Old Lady in Candide with Calgary Opera and Bloody Mary in South Pacific with Pacific Opera Victoria and the Victoria Symphony. She looks forward to returning to Calgary Opera and to her debut with Opera Lyra, as Marcellina in Le Nozze di Figaro with both companies.
Lynne’s rich, generous instrument and keen musical intelligence have brought her acclaim in a wealth of opera and orchestral concert repertoire. Credits include Janáček’s Glagolitic Mass with the Edmonton Symphony, Handel’s Messiah with both the Charleston Symphony Orchestra and the Kitchener Waterloo Philharmonic Chorus, Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9 with the Kingston Symphony, Elijah with the Newfoundland Symphony, Mahler’s Rückert Lieder with the Winnipeg Symphony, and Mahler’s Lieder eines fahrenden Gesellen with Symphony New Brunswick. Last season she joined Glenn Cortese and the Western New York Chamber Orchestra for Mahler’s Das Lied von der Erde, and the Rochester Gay Men’s Chorus for the Brahms Alto Rhapsody.
Lynne is also an active recitalist and has sung at many distinguished song venues, including Tanglewood, Ravinia, and the Church of St. Martin-in-the-Fields. She is a Founding Faculty Artist of the Vancouver International Song Institute, an annual multi-disciplinary program devoted to all aspects of the art song, and has collaborated there on numerous recitals with pianists such as Alison d’Amato and Margo Garrett. Her recital exploring song settings of Walt Whitman earned her a rave review in the Toronto Star, which stated, “Art doesn’t get any more moving that this.” She is a frequent performer of contemporary music and has many premieres to her credit, including works by Augusta Read Thomas, the Canadian premiere of Ned Rorem’s Evidence of Things Not Seen, and the North American premiere of Judith Weir’s The Voice of Desire.
Lynne grew up in Vernon, B.C., and attended the University of British Columbia, the Eastman School of Music, and the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama, where she was a winner of the Opera Trust Scholarship. Lynne lives in Fredonia, NY, where she teaches at the State University of New York College at Fredonia.